We get at least one message a day where the conversation goes something like this.

CUSTOMER:  I need some help getting some pigs to eat. They just aren’t cleaning up their feed.

ME: Tell me what they weigh and what you’re feeding them.

CUSTOMER: They are about 55# and I’m giving them a cup of 18% a scoop of TrueGlo Turbo, a scoop of TrueTrac and a ¼ cup of 70% fat twice a day and they just aren’t cleaning it up

ME: A 55# pig should eat between 2 and 3 pounds of feed a day so your total feed is ok (assuming your cup holds a pound of feed) but when you add fat like that you’re going to decrease consumption because pigs eat to meet their energy needs and fat is 2.25 times more energy dense than corn.

CUSTOMER: I thought it would make them eat more since they like it.

ME: I understand and believe me you’re not alone.

ME: Take the fat out and give 1 ¼  cup of feed, TrueGlo Turbo, and TrueTrac twice a day. Give them 20 minutes to eat that then pull the feeder.  If they aren’t eating like you want in 4 days message me.

Three days later:

CUSTOMER: Holy S*** are they ever eating now!

ME: Perfect! Keep increasing their feed and let me know if you need anything else.

If you pull up research papers focusing on fat content in swine diets you’ll see that adding fat will increase rate of gain in growing pigs but the benefit essentially stops when fat gets up to about 5% of the diet. When fat is higher than that intake starts to decrease and rate of gain levels out because of the energy content.

Then if you look at the tag on your show feed you’ll often see that the feed is about 4% fat some show feeds are even higher.

So as soon as you add more fat to those diets you are going to start limiting intake.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying don’t use fat supplements. They have their place and can be valuable in changing phenotype. But I would say for the most part you should leave the fat products in the bag or bucket when you’re starting pigs on feed or anytime you’re trying to improve feed intake.